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descent to the adjoining plains or seas, and are not sur-, exceeding considerably 500 m., whilst its mean width may rounded as those of Eastern Asia on all sides by lowlands. be 400 m., but towards the north-western extremity it
6. The Table-land of Iran (Persia) extends from E. narrows to 150 m. and less. Its middle is occupied to W. from the plain of the Indus to that of the Eu- by a desert, called the Salt Desert, its surface being phrates, and from s. to N. from the Gulph of Persia impregnated with vitre and other salts. Towards to the Desht Kowar, or desert of Khiwa (38° N. lat.), the boundary of Afghanistan it may be 250 m. across, and the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. The in- but farther w. its width hardly exceeds 100 m. Its terior of this great tract of country extends in large length is 400 m., or nearly so. It is entirely uninand level plains, only in a few places broken by rocky hills, habited. Those portions of the plain which extend on mostly unconnected with one another. The elevation both sides the desert have a broken surface, but the of these interior districts seems rarely to exceed 5,000 ft. level plains are extensive, and the hills, though some. above the sea-level, and as rarely to descend to less than times high, do not occupy a great space. These districts. 3,000 ft These plains are bounded on every side by a far from being infertile, are frequently well cultivated broad border of more elevated tracis, whose surface is and abound in pastures. In many districts fine fruits diversifed by mountain-ridges, valleys, and some table are raised plentifully: but rocky plains also occur frelands of moderate extent.
quently. The highest portion of this elevated border is at the The northern border of West Iran seems not to exceed eastern boundary of the table-land, contiguous to the 100 or 120 m. in width. It is likewise composed of difplain of the Indus. From this plain the country rises in ferent ridges, which mostly run in the direction of the several steep ridges, running parallel to the plain, and table-land E. and W. Though very rugged and steep, including deep and narrow valleys. These mountains the mountains do not rise to a great elevation above the are called, s. of 290, Hala mountains, and N. of this, elevated plains lying southward, before they arrive at Soliman mountains. The former are somewhat lower the meridian of 560 or 550 From hence, westward, they than the latter, which seem to preserve in the greatest rise higher, but their width narrows to from 60 to 80 m. part of their extent more than 10,000 1t. of elevation, its This more elevated part of the chain is called the highest summit, the Takht Soliman (the throne of Soli Elburz mountains, and runs parallel to the southern man), attaining 12,836 ft. Adjacent to these parallel shores of the Caspian Sea, at an average distance of 20 ridges, on the west side, are several elevated plains of m., descending to it with a descent which is extremely moderate extent, especially the plains of Kelat (299), rapid. Its offsets, which are not less steep, though lesa Kwella (31'), and Ghizni (330 and 340 N. lat.); of which elevated, fill up the space between the principal range and the former is elevated between 7,000 and 8.000 ft., and the the sea, with the exception of a narrow stripe along its latter probably more than 9,000 ft.: yet they are cultivated, shores. The valleys, though not very wide, are very especially towards the hills that surround them, and the fertile. The mean elevation of the Elburz mountains depressions of their surface, which frequently descend may be 7,000 or 8,000 ft.: some summits rise higher : the some hundred feet: the higher districts afford good highest is the Demawend, N. E. of Teheran, which expasture. All these tracts are very cold, and covered by ceeds 10,000 ft. above the sea. deep snow during winter.
The s.w. mountainous border of the plains of West The southern border of the table-land of Iran, extending Iran is still more distinctly marked. The mountain-tract, from the plain of the Indus as far W. as the Strait of about 80 or 90 m. wide, extends from the Straits of Ormuz Orinus, does not rise to a great elevation. From the sea along the Gulph of Persia, and farther N. along the however the mountains rise rapidly, having only a narrow plain of the Euphrates, to the place where the Tigris, low stripe along the shores, but their height probably does breaking through the mountains, enters the low plains N. not exceed 2,000 ft. North of this ridge is a mostly level of the town of Mosul. This mountain-tract consists of plain, which, as it contains extensive plantations of date- from three to seven ridges, running parallel to each other, trees, cannot have a great elevation ; it is otherwise sterile, and separated by as many narrow longitudinal valleys, and has few spots which can be cultivated. North of which sometimes are many days' journey in length. They this plain is another much more elevated chain, the are separated from the sea by a narrow low coast called Wushutee mountains, which probably attain 5,000 it. the Gurmsir (warm region), and rise in the form of In this part the mountainous border of the table-land terraces towards the interior. The valleys in the southern is hardly' 120 m. across; but towards its western ex- portion of this region are cultivated, but N. of the tremity a mountain-group projects northward. (near 60° parallel of 30° N. lat. they are inhabited by different E. long.), the Surhad mountains (cold mountains), which tribes of Kurds, who prefer a nomadic life and the seem to attain a higher elevation, but have several rearing of cattle. This northern range was anciently fertile valleys towards the E. From this mountain-called Zagros, but is now known under the general group issues northward a rocky ridge, which is narrow, name of mountains of Kurdistan. Their elevation has and in general low, but has a few elevated sum not been ascertained, but some summits rise to the inits. This ridge, advancing to the northern border, snow-line. divides the interior plain of Iran in two parts, and forms The great commercial road which connects the western the political boundary between Afghanistan, or East Iran, countries of Asia with India, traverses the table-land of and Persia, or West Iran.
Iran. It runs between the deserts and the northern By far the greater part of the plain of East Iran is oc mountain border, through the fertile and cultivated cupied by a sandy desert, which, from the Wushutee district between them, and passes from the town of mountains, extends northward to the parallel of Ferrah, Tabriz in Azerbijan through Casbin to Teheran, and Ghirish, and Kandahar (from 27° to 32° 10 N. lat.), thence to Nishaboor, Meshed, and Herat. Thence it denearly 400 m., and from E. to W.nearly the same distance. clines from its eastern direction to the S. to avoid the Its southern part, the desert of Beloochistan, is co mountain region of the Eimak and Hazareh, and leads vered with fine sand, which, when moved by the wind, to Kandahar, where it passes over part of the table-land rises some feet above the solid surface. It is entire of Ghizni to Caubul. It then follows the valley of the river ly uninhabited. The northern portion, the desert of Cabul to Peshawer and Attock, where it passes the Indus, Sigestan, or Seistan, has a few small oases, and con and traversing the Penj-ab, enters the plains of the siderable tracts of fertile and cultivated ground along the Ganges. banks of the river Ileermind, which rises on the western 7. The mountain-region of Armenia. The most northdeclivity of the Hindoo-Coosh, and runs about 500 miles. erly and narrow extremity of the interior plain of Iran Half its course is through the desert, and it loses itself reaches to the vicinity of the river Kizil Ozein, and in the Lake of Zareh, about 120 m. long and 50 m. N. of it extends a country filled with mountain-masses, wide, but when swelled by the melting of the snow in the which rises higher and higher as they proceed northward. more elevated regions, it occupies a space more than East of Tabriz is Mount Sellevan, which attains an double these dimensions. Along the northern border elevation of 12,000 or perhaps 13,000 ft. above the sea-level, of the desert lies a country whose surface is partly hilly and other summits seem noi to be much lower. Between and partly undulating, but its breadth is not considerable, these mountains are numerous deep valleys, which are being between 50 and 80 m. across.
partly cultivated, but the inhabitants mostly depend on The northern border of East Iran is formed by an ex their herds of cattle and sheep for subsistence. A tensive table-land of very broken surface; the upper few plains lie embosomed between the mountains: the part extends in wide level plains, but they are frequently most extensive are those which are filled up by the intersected with deep valleys. This region, the Paro- Lakes Urmia and Van. The former is 300 m. in cirramisus of the ancients, has been called by modern cumference, and its waters are salt, more salt than those geographers the mountain-region of the Eimaks, and of the sea, but they are perfectly clear. The Lake of Van Hazareh, from the savage nations which inhabit it. is somewhat less in extent, and its waters are likewise It extends S. and N. about 400 m., and nearly double salt, but not to such a degree. North-east of the Lake of that extent E. and W. The ground is cultivated Van the mountain-region attains its highest elevation in only in the narrow valleys, but the extensive pastures Mount Ararat, whose summit is 17,230 ft. above the seanourish large herds of catttle and sheep. On the N. it is level, and the country which extends W. of it to the separated from the plain of Bokhara by the Hazareh sources of the river Aras and the two upper branches of the mountains.
Euphrates, the Kara-su and Murad, has at least 6,000 ft. The interior plain of West Iran is of greater extent, its of absolute elevation, as the town of Erzeroum is 5,500 ft. length from the boundary of Afghanistan to the neigh- above the sea-level. Four mountain-ranges, rising from bourhood of the Caspian Sea, N. of the town of Kasbin, / 4,000 to 5,000 it. above their bases, run E. and W. between
280 and 410 N. lat., and the most northerly descends to , ancients, S. E. of Brusa, more than 9,000 ft. above the the Black Sea with great steepness, and so close to its sea-level. The wide and extensive valleys which lie shores that no road can be made along the coast E. of between the mountain-ranges of this tract contain much Trebizond. Though the mountains occupy the grcater cultivated land, which sometimes extends, even on the portion of its surface, the valleys along the large rivers gentle slopes of the mountains themselves, whose higher are so wide that they may be taken for plains, being parts are used as pastures, whilst nearly the whole of from 10 to 15 miles across. These valleys, though cold, Mount Taurus is only available for the latter purpose. are mostly very fertile, and yield rich crops of corn, whilst The country which lies between these two moun. the declivities of the mountains afford abundance of tain-districts, and the meridians of Cæsaria (350 30) pasture. The farthest south of the above-mentioned and Kutahiya (30° 20') is, properly speaking, a plain mountain-ranges, that which, branching off from Mount whose elevation has not been determined, but it, does Ararat, contains the sources of the Murad river, or eastern not seem to be much above or below 2,000 ft. above branch of the Euphrates, and which farther W. is broken the sea. Its surface is not every where level, but it through by this river, after its two upper branches have exhibits extensive level plains, and the ranges of hills united, is to be considered as the continuation of Mount which occasionally occur do not occupy much space, Taurus, which traverses Asia Minor. But it does not nor are they commonly much elevated above their base. constitute the southern boundary of the mountain-region The soil is dry, but not sandy : and, along the waterof Armenia: this is constituted by a much less elevated courses, or where water for irrigation can be got, ramountain-ridge running E. and W. between the rivers ther fertile; but the tracts where no water can be proEuphrates and Tigris, about 37° 20 N. lat., and ou whose cured are very extensive, and serve in winter as pas. southern declivity the town of Merdin is built. After ture grounds to several nomadic tribes, who in summer breaking through this range at Romkala, the Euphrates retreat to Mount Taurus, or the high-lands E. of Cæenters the plain; the Tigris does the same n. of saria : even the fertile tracts are not cultivated, because Mosul.
exposed to the continual robberies of these tribes. The 8. Natolia, Nadoli, or Asia Minor.- This extensive pe- soil in the S. districts is strongly impregnated with nitre ninsula is to be considered as a western continuation of and other salts, and hence in these parts a considerable the mountain-region of Armenia. It is nearly of the same number of lakes occur whose waters are salt, and from breadth, and lies between the same parallels (37o and 41°); which great quantities of salt are procured. These lakes but there is doubtless some change in the direction of have, as is commonly the case with salt-lakes, no outlet. the mountains where both regions border on each other. The most important of the rivers which drain this tableFrom the Gulph of Iskenderoon, on the side of the land is the Kizil-ermak, which rises at a short distance Mediterranean, to the town of Trebizond on the Black E. of Sivar, and runs 200 m. westward, and afterwards Sca, the ranges run from S. W. to N. E., as is nearly 300 m. N. E. and N. It is the Halys of the analso clearly indicated by the south-western course of cients. the Euphrates between 390 and 36° N. lat. It would The table-land seems to extend even W. of the metherefore seem that these ranges are only a prolong- ridian of Kutahiya, but in these parts its surface begins ation of those of Soristan, which continue southward in to be broken in hills and dales. The hills seem to inthe same direction. The middle part of this tract, crease in height, as they proceed westward, and the between the towns of Sivas, Malatiah, and Cæsaria (Kai- valleys to sink deeper, and to become wider. Both the sariyyeh), seems to form a table-land of considerable ele- hills and valleys continue to the shores of the Ægean vation, as the winters are severe and snow falls abun- Sea, which is indicated by the indented sea coast, which dantly, the summers are short and not warm. Probably consists of boldly projecting promontories and deep bays its height above the sea is from 5,000 to 6,000 feet. It's between them, forming excellent harhours. This is by surface is a succession of levels, divided from each other far the best portion of Asia Minor, the cultivated land by ridges of low elevation; the plains are fertile and extending over the valleys, and on the sides of the produce rich crops of corn. The southern border of this mountains, and yielding rich crops of rice, cotton, and table-land is Mount Taurus (near 380 N. .), which corn, whilst the gardens produce many kinds of excel. seems to rise to a great height, and sends off some lent fruits. This region is also the most populous, and branches to the Mediterranean, among which the Alma contains probably more than half the population of the mountains (Mons Amanni), which enclose the Gulph of peninsula. Iskenderoon on the E., seem to attain the highest 9. Soristan, or Syria, which unites the table-land of elevation. A northern offset of the Taurus, the Ali Nadoli with that of Arabia, is a country which has a Tagh mountains, terminates near Cæsaria with Mount very peculiar physical constitution. Two elevated ranges Erjish, which is always covered with snow, and probably run from its northern extremity (37°N. lat.) through rises to 12,000 ft. above the sea level. The mountains ex its whole length, and terminate on both sides the Gulph tending from Sivas to Trebizond are also high, but we of Akaba (280 N. lat.), the farthest east of the two gulphs know very little of them.
which the Red Sea forms at its northern extremity. But From this eastern and much elevated border the both mountain-ranges, with the intervening valley and peninsula extends nearly 500 m. westward. Along the adjacent shores of the Mediterranean, occupy only a the Mediterranean as well as along the Black Sea, it is space from 60 to 70 m. acros3. The most easterly of the traversed by ranges of mountains. That which runs two mountain-chains lowers considerably soon after along the Mediterranean constitutes a continual range having branched off from the Alma Tagb; and in the of elevated mountains, the Mons Taurus of the ancients. parallel of Aleppo (36° 10' N. lat.) It sinks down to The average distance of the highest part of it from the hills of moderate elevation, nor does it rise much higher sea may vary between 30 and 70 m.; but the whole tract until it reaches 37° 20', where it rises to a considerable lying between them is filled up by mountains of con- height, probably 5,000 ft. and more: it is called Jebet siderable elevation. They attain the greatest elevation Essharki, the Antilihanus of the ancients. It preserves on the broad peninsula between the Gulphs of Adalia a considerable elevation as far S. as 32° 55', where it and Makry (290 and 31° E. long.), where Mount Tagh-lowers again, but soon widens in an extensive mountaintalu is 7,800 ft. high. But the mountains farther inland region, called El Kura, which extends to 32° 10'. Hence are even in August covered with snow for a fourth it continues as a rocky ridge of moderate elevation on part of the way down their sides, which indicates an the eastern side of the Dead Sea, to its southern exelevation of at least 15,000 ft. above the sea-level. tremity E. of the Gulph of Akaba. The western chain is Farther W. the mountains rapidly decrease in height, much higher, at least in the northern districts. As a and are only of moderate elevation where they terminate high mountain-range, it skirts the eastern sides of the on the shores of the Ægean Sea, on both sides of the Gulph Gulph of Iskenderoon, and at some distance S. from it is of Kos. The rocky masses of this chain press so closely broken by the river Aazsy (Orontes), but S. of that river on the shore of the sea, that commonly only a narrow it again "rises to a considerable elevation. Its highest stripe of low or billy surface intervenes, except along the portion, however, is between 340 30' and 330 20': this innermost part of the Gulph of Adalia, and along the N.
the , shores of that of Iskenderoon, where low plains of mo. and more elevated portion still retaining the name derate extent occur. In some places high mountains of Jebel Libán: but towards the s. it is called Jebel constitute the very shores of the sea, for many miles el Drus, from its being inhabited by the Druses. together.
The highest summits of the Jebel Libán are always The mountains which occur along the Black Sea do covered with snow, and that which bears the name not form a continual range, being frequently broken by of Jebel Makmel (34° 12') attains to 12.000 st. above deep, and commonly onen valleys, by which several the sea. S. of 33° 20' the mountains sink much larger or smaller rivers find their way to the sea. They lower, and these low ridges continue to its southern therefore constitute several separated ranges, and have extremity, on the rocky peninsula between the Gulphs neither in ancient nor in modern times been designated of Akaba and Suez. Near the most southerly point by a general name. The several ridges which lie between they terminate with the stupendous and famous moun. these valleys run E. ana W., parallel to each other, form- tain-mass of Mount Sinai, whose highest summit is proing commonly a wider mountain-border on the N. of the bably more than 9.000 ft. above the sea. peninsula, than the higherchain of the Taurus on the S.; The valley, which extends between the two ranges, their mean breadth may be 100 m. None of their summits has nowhere a great width. N. of 320 N. lat. it may seem to pass the snow-line; the highest which has been vary between 8 and 20 m., but is much wider.N. of 345 measured is Damaun-Tagh, the Mons Olympus of the N. lat. than between the two ranges of the Libanus.
From the southern extremity of the Dead Sea, to the more abundant, and that therefore it is better adapted Gulph of Akaba, it is reduced to a narrow, rocky, and to agriculture. In it are extensive plantations of coffee. waterless cleft in the mountains, probably not more The low plains of the Tehama bave a sandy soil, which than 1 m. or 1 across. The northern and wider it is supposed has been deposed by the sea along the foot part of the valley is watered by the river Aazsy of the great mountain-mass, by which the Hedjaz and (the Orontes of the ancients); the middle and high- Nedjed are supported; and it is maintained that it is est part, lying between the two ranges of the Libanus, still increasing in width. As it does not rain, fre. by a small river, the Liettanie: this district is probably quently for many consecutive years, it could not be culo 2,000 ft. above the sea. S. of the Liettanie, the valley is tivated but for the watercourses, which, during the watered by the Jordan, which traverses the Lake of rainy season, descend from the adjacent Hedjaz. Irri. Tiberias, and empties itself in the Dead Sea, after a gated by them, with the addition of some artificial means, course of about 100 m. The Dead Sea, called by the Ara- the sultry dry plains yield good crops of some kinds of blans Bahr-el-Loot, is about 50 m. long, and nearly 15 m. grain, and are rich in fruits, dates especially broad where widest ; it is remarkable for the asphalt or 11. The Plain of the Euphrates comprises the whole of bitumen found on its shores, and for the remarkable events the great depression in the interior of Western Asia, except and asociations connected with its history.
that portion which is occupied by the Gulph of Persia. Between the western mountain-range and the shores Its northern boundary is formed by that range of mounof the Mediterranean, are some extensive plains, S. of tains which, on the W. of the Tigris, begins a little 3.3°, where the country for many miles inland is low and above Mosul, and running westward near the towns of sandy, but without harbours. Between 330 and 350 Merdin and Orfa, terininates on the banks of the is the country of the ancient Phænicians, lying between Euphrates, near Rumkola. On the W. it is bounded by the sea and the Libanus. The whole tract from the sea to the table-land of Iran, on the E. by the mountain-region the mountains is filled with hills, and, in advancing to of Syria, and on the s. by the northern declivity of the shores, these hills form numerons small harbours : the the Nedjed. That portion of it which lies contiguous to country further N. is of the same description.
the Nedjed and Syria, up to the eastern banks of the EuThe southern part of the region just described is phrates, is a complete desert, mostly covered with sand, nearly a desert. S. of the Dead Sea the surface is and subject to the pestiferous blast of the simoom or mostly nothing but bare rocks, destitute of vegetable samici. It is, however, inhabited by some wandering mould and water. It is therefore called Arabia tribes of Arabs; and through it run the roads which lead Petrea, or Stony Arabia, N. of it is Palestine, whose from Aleppo and Damascus to Bussorah. It is called the plain towards the Mediterranean is nearly a desert, Syrian Desert. It spreads even beyond the Euphrates to on account of its sandy surface : but the higher portion, a considerable distance from the river in its middle between this plain and the Jordan, is rather fertile, course, where its banks are hardly better inhabited than where cultivated, though some districts have a stony the desert itself. In the northern districts of the plain soil. The valley of the Jordan is not distinguished by sand also prevails, but it is frequently interspersed by fertility. The country W. of the Libanus is more fer- extensive tracts of rocky ground; and as these patches tile, especially along the range, and in its small valleys, have commonly mould on them, they are cultivated and even on its declivities ; but on its side some of the and planted with trees. This tract, through which runs valleys are sterile, and the E. declivity of Libanus is a the road from Aleppo to Bagdad, extends on the banks of naked rock. N. of Libanus the country improves ; and the Tigris to the last-mentioned place. S. of Bagis in general fertile, and partly well cultivated. E. of dad the country between the two rivers is fertile, when the mountain-region is the Syrian desert, which belongs irrigated, which is done by water derived from the to the great depression in the interior of Western Asia; rivers themselves, and from several canals; but those but this
desolated country does not advance to the foot of tracts, which lie to the E. and W. of these rivers, are the ranges : it is divided from them by a tract of most only cultivated along their banks, sandy deserts befertile country, intermixed with sandy spots. This tract ginning at a short distance from them. The two rivers, may be 50 or 60 m. across, but it becomes more sandy which water this great plain, the Euphrates and Tigris and sterile in advancing further E.
rise nearly in the same parallel, between 38° 30 and 10. Arabia is a table-land of considerable elevation, but 39° 30' N. lat., on the declivities of the same mountain we are unable to determine the line where it begins to range in Armenia ; but the Euphrates, running first W., rise from the low plain of the Syrian desert. Probably has already had a course of 500 m. before it arrives at the this line is a good way S. of the caravan road leading parallel of the sources of the Tigris. It then by degrees from Damascus to Bussorah, but not far from a line turns S.E., and continues in that direction, apdrawn from the most northerly corner of the Gulph of proaching gradually nearer to that river, and unites with Akaba to the mouth of the Euphrates. The table-land it about 100 m. from its mouth. The united river is called rises abruptly on the other three sides, at a distance the Shat-el-Arab, and falls in the northern extreof from 3 to 40 m. from the sea, except along the mity of the Gulph of Persia. northern coast of the Gulph of Persia, to which it de 12. Mount Caucasus, which at present is considered scends with a gentle declivity. The low narrow border, as the boundary between Asia and Europe, does not with which the table-land is encompassed on all sides, is constitute a part of the tabic-lands and mountain-regions called the Tehama, and the table-land itself Nejd, or of Western Asia, being separated from the mountainNedjed. The rocky and uneven border, which divides masses of Armenia by a kind of valley, about 100 m. the Nejd from the Tehama, is mostly called Jebel across. This valley is a level plain, where it approaches (mountain), or Hedjaz.
the Caspian Sea, and at a distance of about 100 or 150 m. The Nedjed is divided into two parts by a rocky ridge, from it. Farther W. the surface of the valley is hilly, which cuts the Tropic Circle with an angle of about 300. intermixed with some undulating plains, of moderate It begins on the W. near 22° N. lat., and terminates near extent. It rises in higher hills, between 43° and 440 the Gulph of Persia, near 25oThis ridge, called Jebel E. long., where a ridge of low mountains forms the Aared, divides the table-land into two parts, of which watershed between the river Kur (the Cyrus of the the southern is nearly a complete desert, and seems al-ancients), and the Rioni (the Phasis of the ancients). The most uninhabited. North of the Jebel Aared, sand also most westerly district of the valley, which is watered by covers by far the greater part of the Nedjed, but is in the Rioni, is almost entirely filled with hills, the numerous places interspersed with rocky tracts and valleys and level tracts occupying only a small part of some hilly grounds; where, during the rainy season, its surface. water collects and forms small streams, by which these Mount Caucasus itself rises from this valley, with a tracts become inhabitable, and even fit for the culture rather steep descent, and forms a continual mass of high of some kinds of grain ; especially dhourra, a kind of rocks, running from E.S.E. to W.N.W., from the shores millet. There occur also extensive plantations of fruit of the peninsula of Absheron, on the Caspian Sea, to the trees, especially dates. The sandy desert which separates small town of Anapa on the Black Sca, a distance hardly these inhabitable spots is also covered, after the rainy less than 700 m. Its width does not exceed 120 m. season, with grass and flowers, and the Bedouins, or where widest, and hardly more than 60 or 70 m. where wandering Arabs, find there all the year round subsis narrowest. This mass of rocks covers 56,000 sq. m., or tence for their horses, camels, and shecp. It has not nearly the surface of England and Wales. Its highest been determined to what elevation above the sea summit, Mount Elbrooz, or Elborus, attains an elevation level any part of the Nedjed rises, but its cold climate of 17,785 it., and is situated nearly in the centre of the in winter seems to indicate that it exceeds the general range. The portion of the range, which extends W. of elevation of the table-land of Iran, though probably not that high pinnacle, nowhere rises to the snow-line, that of Ghizni or Kelat.
but several snow-peaks occur to the E. of it, among The Hedjaz, or rocky edge of the Nedjed, is narrow which Mount Kazbeck is 14,500 ft. high. Traces of N. of the Tropic, where it probably never exceeds 15, agriculture are met with in but few of its valleys, the inhaor at the utmost 20 m., except in two or three places bitants living almost exclusively on the produce of their where it is contiguous to a rocky district of the Nedjed. flocks. This mountain-system is remarkable for the S. of the Tropic it considerably widens, and here its great number of nations, belonging to different races, mean breadth may be about 50 m.: S. of Mekka the which inhabit its elevated valleys. At both extremities Teháma and Iledjaz together extend more than 100 m. of Mount Caucasus are places, where the soil is impregfrom the Red Sea. The Hedjaz resembles much the nated with naphtha or vitumen, especially in the peninrocky tracts enclosed by the Nedjed, except that water is sula of Abcharon,
13. The Islands of Asia. --- The Aleutian islands, The Moluccas, lying w. of Celebes, consist of some which extend between the peninsula of Kamtchatka and hundred of smaller and larger islands, divided in several the peninsula of Alashka in America, as well as the Ku- groups between 5° N. lat. and 80 s. lat. They rise mostly rile Islands, which lie S. of Cape Lopatka, and termin with a steep ascent from the sea shore, but rarely nate near the eastern shores of Jesso, are of volcanic to a considerable elevation. Many of them seem to owe origin, and in some of them are still found active vol- their origin to volcanoes ; and on eight still exist volcanoes. Their soil is mostly rocky, and destitute of canoes, in activity. Their soil, though mostly sandy and wood, but the most southerly islands of the last-mentioned stony, is fertile, and particularly adapted for some progroup are cultivated on the lower gronnds.
ductions. Amboyna has large plantations of cloves, The large island, which, between 45° and 55° N. lat., and the Banda group furnishes muscat nuts and mace. extends along the coast of Manchooria, called Sakhalien, The culture of rice and other grains is very limited, as Tarakai, or Karafto, is yery little known, except that it the soil seems not favourable to their growth ; but this forms an enormous mass of rocks, which rise towards want is supplied by the extensive plantations of sagoits centre probably to the height of 3,000 or 4,000 ft., and trees. perhaps even higher. It is mostly destitute of trees, and That series of mostly considerable islands which begins no part of it is cultivated : its scanty population subsist on the E. with the island of Timour and terminates on on the produce of their fisheries.
the W. with that of Bali, including the islands of Rotti, The islands of Japan, consisting of four large (Yeso, Savoo, and Sandelbosh, which lie s. of the series, are Niphon,
Sitkokf, and Kioosioo) and a considerable number called by geographers the Lesser Sunda Islands, to disrocks, which, especially on Niphon, rise above the snow. Islands, comprising Borneo, Celebes, Java and Suline.' In most places the steep or gentle declivities of matra.' The Lesser Sunda Islands are mountainous ; the rocks extend to the very shores of the sea, but'at and in some of them the mountains rise to 8,000 or others plains of considerable extent extend between 9,000 ft. above the sea, and probably higher. Sethem. Though the soil does not seem to be distinguished veral of them are active volcanoes, which frequently for fertility, it is rendered productive by the great care bring destruction over the islands in which they are with which it is every where cultivated; corn-fields ex- situated. We are not well acquainted with these islands, tend on the slopes of the mountains to a considerable nor with the degree of fertility they possess; but from elevation. In many districts the surface consists of lava. the few indications we have received, it may be inferred
The island of Formosa, divided from the con. that, in general, they are as far from being, sterile, as tinent by a channel about 70 or 80 m. wide, extends from an exuberant productiveness. Many of the tropical from N. to S. more than 200 m. Its southern ex- productions grow to perfection. tremity is a level, but not of great extent, for not Java, the most important of the islands of the Indian far from it rises that mountain range which tra Ocean, is properly a continuation of the former series. It verses the island in its whole length, and which in its extends in length nearly 700 m., but its breadth hardly, higher parts seems to attain an elevation of from 10,000 exceeds 100 m., where widest. A continuous chain to 12,000 ft. above the sea. Its valleys towards the of mountains runs through the island in its whole length, western shores, and the small level spots which occur lowering more rapidly towards the N. than the along the sea, are fertile and well cultivated. The coun S., where the coast is high and nearly inaccessible. try E. of the range is not known.
Some summits of this chain rise to more than The island of Hainan, near the S. coast of China, is 12,000 or 13,000 ft. The highest are the Semeero and separated from the mainland by a strait hardly more Tagal. Most of these summits are volcanoes, either than 10 m. across. It extends from S.W. to N.Ė, more extinct or still active, and their frequent eruptions have than 180 m.; its average width is about 100 m., or some in later times laid waste several districts. The more what more. In its centre rises a mountain-mass to a fertile tracts lie along the northern shores, which are considerable height, from which some lateral ridges low, and from which a fat country extends several miles branch off, but they do not reach the shores, except in inland. Their fertility is very great, and produces rich some parts on the E. coast. Every where else a low flat crops of every kind of grain or roots cultivated becountry separates the mountain from the sea. The flat tween the tropics. But part of these flat lands are so districts are either sandy, or covered with grass and without low and so badly drained, that they are converted into trees, like the savannah; in some places they are culti- swamps during the rainy season. Some tracts preserve vated and fertile, as are also the valleys.
their swampy soil all the year round; and hence arises The extensive group of the Philippines, which lies the insalubrity of these coasts. between 18° 30' and 50 30 N. lat., comprises more than Sumatra, only second to Borneo in extent, is 900 m. long 100 islands ; of which, however, most of the smaller ones and from 150 to 230 m. wide. In its length it is traversed are uninhabited. Most of them are mountainous, and by a mountain-chain of great elevation, several of its sumthe smaller ones naked rocks ; but the larger islands con mits exceeding12,000 ft. of elevation : MountOphir exceeds tain many plains of considerable extent, and of a very even 13,000 ít. Many of these summits are volcanoes, but fertile soil. They are well watered - perhaps too much most of them appear to be extinct. The volcano Gunong 80: some of them are volcanic.
Dempo is more than 11,000, those of Ber Api and Barawi The Sooloo islands, between Magindanao and the east more than 12,000 ft. high. The declivities of these mounern coast of Borneo, have a rocky and uneven soil, but tains extend in many places to the western shores, which it is very fertile, being covered with a thick vegetable therefore afford several good harbours. The eastern mould. But the large island of Palawan, lying farther shores are flat and sandy, and the adjacent plains extend N., is a rocky mass, rising in the middle' to a high in some places 100 m. and more inland. Some tracts of range, in which some summits attain a great height. these plains are swampy, and others sterile and covered The rocks are commonly bare; in some parts the sides with sand. Still a great part of its surface is fertile, of the mountains are covered with trees; but agriculture and affords many valuable productions. The western is confined to a few small spots on the coast.
districts, being more uneven and consequently better Borneo, the largest of the Asiatic islands, and not much drained, are more fertile and much more healthy. In the inferior to France in extent, is nowhere mountainous ex- extensive woods, which cover the declivities of the mouncept in the peninsula which projects N.E. from the main tain, the camphor-tree is frequent, and yields the best body of the island; and even there, as it appears, the moun- camphor. From the eastern shore extensive shoals extains do not attain
a great elevation. The remainder, tend far into the Straits of Malacca, and render the which comprises at least four fifths of its whole surface, navigation tedious and difficult. East of this island, seems to be a plain, on which a few ridges occur at great dis- and towards its southern extremity, is the island of Banca, tances. This plain has an alluvial soil, to a distance of famous for its inexhaustible mines of tin. several miles from the shores, and afterwards the coun Ceylon, divided from the peninsula of the Deccan by the try rises gradually, perhaps 200 or 300 ft. The whole of Gulph of Manaar and Palk Strait, is from S. to N. 280 m. this plain, as far as it is known, seems to possess great long, but its greatest breadth does not exceed 140 m. In the fertility; and the want of culture, which every where is middle of the island, and towards its southern extremity, visible, is probably the effect of the too great abundance on both sides of 70 N. lat., is a mountain-mass, which of water, as the island is subject to continual rains. extends over nearly an eighth part of its surface. The All kinds of productions and fruits, commonly met mean elevation of this mass may exceed 1,000 ft. above the with between the tropics, grow to perfection.
sea, though some of its more elevated valleys rise to The island of Celebes, divided from Borneo by the nearly 4,000 ft. This mountain-mass is overtopped by Strait of Macassar, is traversed by four ranges of moun- several high summits, among which the Adam's Peak tains, which, however, do not attain a great elevation, attains 6,152 ft.; but Pedrotallagalla, the highest pinexcept where the four mountain-ranges and the four pe- nacle, is 8,280 st. above the sea. This mountain-region is ninsulas, of which the island consists, meet together, in surrounded by a hilly country, to a distance of 10 or 12 m. this part the mountains are of considerable height. The and more. Its mean elevation above the sca varies from surface of the whole island is hilly or mountainous, the 400 to 1,000 ft. This hilly region may in some degree be fat tracts along the coast being of small extent. Its soil said to extend to the very shores of the sea in the S. disis rather sandy, and not distinguished by fertility. Its tricts; for the country contiguous to the coast between produce in rice is not equal to the consumption of the Batticaloa, on the E. coast, and Negumbo, on the W., is inhabitants; but it produces many tropical fruits, and not level ind undulating, and the coast itself is rather sago in great abundance.
high. The northern half of the island is a level plain
and it is supposed, that even in the interior, it does not, the great central table-land itself. This is unquestionrise above 300 ft. Its coast is every where flat and sandy, ably the highest and most extensive plateau in the and remarkable for the great number of lagunes, with world, having for its bearers the mountains of Altai and which it is skirted. These lagunes increase in size during Yablonoi to the N.; the Manchoorian mountains E.; the the rainy season, so as to flow into one another, af Himalayas and the mountains of China to the S.; and on fording an inland navigation for boats, in some places the W. the Beloi Tagh, the Elburz, and the Persian for 60 or 80 miles. Along the whole of the eastern coast, mountains. Lying at a great though not equal elevation, from Point Pedro to Dondrah Head, and hence to Ne- bounded and intersected by lofty mountain ranges, and gumbo, the sea is deep, and may be navigated by vessels without a single natural outlet to the ocean, the climate, of any burden; but the w.coast, N. of Negumbo, as far soil, hydrography, and general physical features of this as Point Pedro, is surrounded by a shallow sea, in which vast region (occupying more than 2-5ths of Asia), are only vessels of 100 tons can be used ; and the common all of a very peculiar kind. The characteristics of the vessels employed in this trade vary between 25 and 50 first are dryness and coldness; the second consists of a tons. The fertility of the island is very great ; sandy dry sand, sometimes broken by patches of verdure, at tracts indeed occur, but they are not extensive, and pro others stretching out into immense deserts, like that of duce commonly good crops, when irrigated. Swamps, Gobi or Shamo; and the water system consists of lakes which in the other islands of the Indian Ocean, cover without outlets, the final recipients of many rivers, some great tracts of the low country, are rare in Ceylon, and of of them very respectable for length and magnitude. small extent.
Many of the streams are, however, absorbed in the sandy II. BOTANY OF ASIA. - Temperature, soil, humidity, soil.' From these circumstances it may be reasonably and light are the principal agents in the geographical dís- imagined that the vegetation is also peculiar; but unfortribution of plants. These elements exist under greater tunately little is known upon this subject, and the invesvariety in Asia than in any other region ; and hence tigations of Rubruquis, Marco Polo, and others in the the amount and diversity of Asiatic vegetation are ab- 13th century, and of the Jesuit missionaries in the 17th, solutely without a parallel. It is not alone the extent were till very lately the only sources from which knowin lat. of this vast continent, though stretching from the ledge could be gained ; and though Lord Macartney equator to the highest N. parallels ; it is not simply (Embassy to China) and Timkouski (Voyage à Peking à the different elevations of its surface, though of these the travers la Mongolie) afford more recent, they scarcely greatest and least are respectively 27,000 ft. above and afford more extensive, information concerning a region 110 it. below the level of the sea; it is not even the which is still, in a great degree, a terra incognita to abundance of water in one district, and its almost total science. Wood of all kinds is extremely scarce in these absence in another, which will or can account for this high and consequently bleak regions ; so scarce that the amount and diversity. Powerful as are these causes in nom:dic inhabitants use the dung of their cattle for influencing the physical conditions of any region, one fuel (Du Halde, iv. 18.), and similar materials not unstill more powerful exists in Asia ; viz. the very peculiar frequently serve for the groundwork of their gilded nature of its conformation. The centre is a high table- idols. (Marco Paulo, lib. I. c. 49.) On the S. slopes of land, varying from 6,000 to perhaps 15,000 ft. of elevation, the table-land are found oaks, aspens, elms, hazels, and bounded on every side by high mountains, which effec-waluut trees; but all, even on the immediate confines of tually shut it out from the sea, and on the exterior sides China, diminished to mere shrubs; while on the high of which the kingdoms of Asia are arranged in every lands and N. slopes of the same frontier the only wood variety of inclination. The difference of aspect thus consists of soine wretched thorny brambles. (Lord induced, still more than either lat. or elevation, serves to Macartney, ii. 200.) This remarkable absence of timber divide the whole continent into 5 great botanical regions, throughout so great an extent of country is owing, which, however subject to subdivision among themselves, probably (even more than to the nature of the soil), to are distinguished from each other by peculiarities as violent and cold tornadoes, which are extremely frequent, striking as though the Atlantic or Pacífic rolled between especially during the summer. * (Carpin, cap. xvi. art. them. N. from the great table-land, the vast country of 1.) In the N. parts of Mongolia the timber approaches in Siberia slopes to the Arctic Ocean. The intensity and character to that of S. Siberia, but is still very inferior both duration of the cold in this dreary region prevent the in kind and quantity. (?
(Timkouski, i. 44. ii. 290. &c.) thriving of any but the most hardy plants, except in the Considering the vast number of beasts that traverse these S. districts; where, in addition to the effects of lower plains (see Zoology), there must be, notwithstanding lat., vegetation is protected by mountain ranges, which the extensive deserts, a great variety of grazing herbs screen it from the freezing Ni E. winds. The oak and and grasses ; but except in the E. (Timkouski, jj. 229.) hazel are found in Daouria, on the border of the country agriculture is not practised, and the vegetable food of man of the Manchoos (Gmelin, Flor. Sib. i. 50.); but their unknown. The natives live exclusively on flesh and size is diminutive, their vegetation languid ; nor are they milk (Carpin, c. xxvi art. 4.; Rubruquis, cap. v.; M. met with in any other district N. of the Altai Moun- Paulo, liv. i. cap. 57. &c.); and when questioned as to why tains. (Pallas, Flor. Rriss. i. 3.) Yet the well watered they so totally neglect the earth, their reply is, that "God lands of S. Siberia abound in thick forests, consisting of made herbs for beasts, but the flesh of beasts for men." birch, willow, juniper, maple, ash, pine, alder, fir, larch, (Du Halde, iv. 32.) Timkouski saw in the N. parts poplar, aspen, and elm trees. (Gmelin, i. 150–180. iii. of this region red currants, peaches, hemp, and flax, 150.: Pallas, Flor. Russ.; and Voy. en Russ., pass.) all growing wild. (ii. 290.) There
also here a very or fruits there are the Siberian cedar (Pinus cembra), remarkable fungus, called, from its resemblance to the the nut of which is an article of commerce ; 2 or 3 animal, the Tartar lamb; and there can be little doubt species of raspberries, blackberries, and other bramble but that the fowering and aromatic plants of this region fruit ; a species of cherry (Prunus fruticosus), from are numerous and peculiar. which is distilled a wine ; bilberries, whortleberries, and The E. slope of the table-land, comprising the the Siberian apricot. Gmelin (iii. 173.) gives a list of 4 basin of the Saghalien (or Amoor) and other great rivers species of currants; and Pallas (Flor. Russ. i. 20—23.) which flow into the Pacific Ocean, forms the third great one of 5 species of pears; but the fruit of these is value kingdom of Asiatic botany; and is, in every respect, less, with the exception of one species of currant, which strongly contrasted with its immediate neighbour. Here is confined to the banks of the Argoon, a tributary of the are immense forests ; so extensive that it required 9 days Saghalien, in the S. E. corner of Daouria. During the to traverse one of them, and so thick that it was necesshort but powerful summer, the Siberian soil is covered sary to fell several trees in order to take an observation with flowering and aromatie plants in immense profusion of the sun's meridian. (Du Halde, iv, 7.) The cold is (Gmelin and Pallas, passim. See also Georgi's Phys. very severe to as low a lat, as 43°; and consequently the Geog. vol. iii.) But these, as well as the timber, gradually trees are of the kind usually met with in the more N. diminish towards the N.; till above the 60th parallel parallels of Europe. Of fruits, this district possesses scarcely any thing remains but the hardy beech and a apples, pears, nuts, chestnuts, and filberts, all in great few of the more vigorous lichens and mosses. Gmelin abundance; and of grain, wheat, oats, and millet, are remarks (Preface, xliii.), that vegetation undergoes a produced, together with a peculiar species, unknown in marked change E. of the Yenisei ; and, as it is a well- Europe, called mai-se-mi, partaking of the nature of known fact that temperature decreases towards the E., both wheat and rice. Rice itself is grown, though in no it is not surprising that this should be the case ; but great quantities; and, in fact, from the little that is known the unproductive nature of the soil seems to have been of this great region, it would appear that there is no overrated; for, in 1830, an agricultural society was large district of the earth better adapted for the residence founded at St. Peter and St. Paul, in Kamtchatka, of an agricultural population. Its capabilities are, howfrom whose paper (of Nov. 20. 1830) it appears that ever, wholly neglected by the Chinese government; while the return of wheat, raised in that district, was 134 for the natives of the soil (the Manchoos), though they do 1, of rye 21 for 1 ; and that the cultivation of buckwheat, not, like the great majority of the Mongols, utterly Himalaya barley, and other grains had proved equally neglect the pursuits of husbandry, yet, in general, successful. The potatoe, cabbage, onion, beetroot, they may be described as a race of hunters, resemchicory, and melon had also thriven ; and though
the cu- bling strongly in habits and manners the aboriginal cumber had failed, its failure was owing not to the im- inhabitants of America. The cotton shrub grows here; practicability of the soil, but to the bines having been destroyed by rot.
• Timkouski (1. 609.) remarks the frequency of these winds, but The sccuud botanical kingdom of Asia is contained in denies their violence.